In the Beginning: Exploring Questions of Spirituality and Religion through Poetry

09/13/2020 - 10/10/2020


Charlotte Lit's Zoom Room 1

Virtual Meeting URL:


Early bird rate: $300 members; $375 non-members (includes one-year General Membership), applied automatically at checkout. We live in a time of always more, always faster, where what’s new insists on itself as what’s most important. But outside this frenzy are questions that demand slow pondering, queries old as human consciousness. Why are we here? Is there a God? How do we live knowing our lives have a definite deadline? Humans have engaged these questions most often in religious texts, where we find the stories and rituals, commandments and prohibitions that have shaped the world we live in. As a model for our own writing, we’ll delve into the work of writers who’ve grappled with these ideas and texts. This 4-week class is for writers of all levels. Each week will be a blend of close readings, spirited exchange, contemplative meditations, and generative exercises, through which we’ll add our voices to a conversation that stretches across geography and time.


This studio takes place asynchronously over four weeks using the Wet Ink platform. There will be two optional live Zoom Meetings: 6–6:45 pm; Monday, September 14 and Monday, October 5.

Jessica Jacobs is the author of Take Me with You, Wherever You’re Going (Four Way Books), one of Library Journal’s Best Poetry Books of the Year, winner of the Goldie Award in Poetry from the Golden Crown Literary Society, and a finalist for both the Brockman-Campbell and Julie Suk Book Awards. Her debut collection, Pelvis with Distance (White Pine Press), a biography-in-poems of Georgia O'Keeffe, won the New Mexico Book Award in Poetry and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award and Julie Suk Award. An avid long-distance runner, Jessica has worked as a rock-climbing instructor, bartender, and professor, and now serves as the Chapbook Editor for Beloit Poetry Journal. She lives in Asheville, NC, with her wife, the poet Nickole Brown, with whom she co-authored Write It! 100 Poetry Prompts to Inspire (Spruce Books/PenguinRandomHouse), and is at work on parallel collections of essays and poems exploring spirituality, Torah, and Midrash. You can learn more about her at